Dead lifts – my most and least favorite exercise all.at.the.same.time.
You know why? I love what they do for my backside, but they hurt. And, they’re hard. Really really hard. However, I have learned that usually the hardest and most hated exercises are the ones that work the best.
In my books, that is totally unfair…but c’est la vie.
Anyway, In this post, I want to talk about dead lifts. I know VERY VERY few women who actually do them. They look intimidating and they also look like they could potentially make our lady-like figures on the more masculine side. P.s this is a myth. Lifting weights does NOT make us muscular and “man-like” but, more on that in a different post.
Deadlifts are the king (or queen 😉 ) of all exercises for the complete back of your body; they work your shoulder, back, and calves but, predominantly, they work your butt and quads good. Really, really good. If you want to fill out your jeans in all the right places, you gotta dead lift girl.
There are many different variations of my favorite exercise – traditional, sumo, Romanian, stiff legged etc. My personal preference is the Romanian dead lift. The only thing that I need to stress with any form of a dead lift, is that you can hurt yourself badly, and you can do it very easily. For this reason, it is SO important to start with VERY light weight (even if you can go much heavier) and focus on getting the form down. Once you have perfect form, then start worrying about actually adding weight and working that booty.
To perform the Romanian dead lift, start with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Place a barbell on a squat or power rack and grab onto it, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Lift the bar up by squeezing through the back of your heels, all the way up through your glutes. This is your starting position. Now, we have to actually perform the exercise. To do this, shift the weight into your heels, keeping your head up, chest and shoulders up, and abs TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT, and begin to lower the bar. You want to keep your back (especially your lower back) SUPER STRAIGHT. If you do not, this is when you hurt yourself. By keeping everything up and your abs tight, your back should remain in a straight line. Lower the bar to about knee level (everyone is different as everyone’s flexibility is different) and then force up through the back of the heels and glutes to bring yourself back to standing upright, giving your glutes a good squeeze at the top of the movement.
It is VERY easy to lower yourself down using your lower back, which would result in you injuring yourself. Don’t do this. This is why it is imperative to get the form down with little (or no) weight before going all out. When I teach people how to do a Romanian dead lift, I usually get them to stand about one step away from a wall, and practice trying to lower themselves down and touch their booty to the wall. This is how it should feel when you are performing the exercise.
Once you have the Romanian variation down, then you can get fancy and try some other variation if you please. Master a dead lift and watch your whole body (but especially that booty!) get ca-razy awesome(r)